Marisa Nuñez, Marisa Hair, Long Island City, NY
Picture of a person holding a cupcake

Chequita Blake

The Best Blue Velvet Cupcakes

Orlando, FL

“It felt like a blessing that someone believed in me and could help me grow. I renewed my lease and kept my business running.”

From Home Baker to Multi-Store Owner

“There was one kid, he couldn’t eat anything – no gluten, no nuts. When his dad told me this, I went home played around, trying to bake something for him. His face lit up when he finally had a dessert he could eat and take to his friend’s birthday party. He could be included. Reasons like these are what makes the demanding work worth it.”

Because of her Ascendus loan, Chequita kept her business in operations, and invested in the marketing and operations that she needed to not only keep her business alive, but to grow her business.

The Upwards Growth of The Best Blue Velvet Cupcakes

When an illness forced Chequita to stay home from work for a long period of time, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. “I started baking for community organizations in my neighborhood, just to occupy my time. I had baked for the little league and someone came up to me and said that this was the best cupcake they ever had. It got me thinking, maybe I could do this for real.”

Chequita quit her job and decided to focus on baking full time. In 2016 Chequita registered her home business as an LLC. In 2017, she transitioned to a small table in the mall. In 2018, she transitioned to a kiosk, and in 2019 she transitioned to a storefront. Originally, Chequita named her business “Blake’s Great Cupcakes.” However, her one-of-a-kind blue velvet cupcakes were what brought customers to her door. “People would always come up to me and say that this was the best blue velvet cupcake, and the new name stuck.”

One Loan Saved and Grew Chequita’s Business

In 2020, Chequita’s growth was temporarily halted by the COVID-19 pandemic. “There was no one outside, it was hard to get products, I needed to transition to delivery and pay my bills, pay my employees, and keep my business running.” Due to a low credit score Chequita was unable to qualify for a typical bank loan. She met Ascendus at a networking event and was introduced to the Southern Opportunity and Resilience Fund. She qualified for a $25,000 loan and used it to pay her bills, her employees, and get back on her feet. “It felt like a blessing that someone believed in me and could help me grow. I renewed my lease and kept my business running.”

Chequita was placed in the Top 25 People’s Choice Award for her cupcakes and won Dessert Wars Season 7 in Miami. Today she has expanded to two new locations and has plans of continuing to expand throughout Florida and nationwide. “I wouldn’t have been able to get to where I am today without the help. Thank you Ascendus for offering me the quality help I needed when there was a bump in the road.”

To learn more about The Best Blue Velvet Cupcakes, visit:

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